Friday, May 13, 2016

Happiness is . . .

HappinessSometimes you have to wonder:

How could anyone live in a world with phenomena like this and not be happy?

I'm not talking about someone suffering. It seems to me they have a right to be unhappy.

I mean the average person who has food to eat and a place to sleep at night.

Now, in the new World Happiness Report, Israel ranks #11, ahead of the United States and most of Europe, prompting this Wall Street Journal writer to wonder why?

How can this be so? Israelis live in a hostile and volatile neighborhood, engaged in an endless conflict with the Palestinians and under the threat of nuclear annihilation by Iran. If you crunch the different components of these indexes, Israel falls much further down the lists. It ranks only 24th in GDP per capita, and comes in at No. 30 of the 36 OECD countries on security and personal safety. Israel has only the 17th-highest per capita income in the world.

But Israelis do not rank as stupid on any index. Israel was the fifth-most innovative country in the 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index, and a 2014 OECD study ranked it fourth in the percentage of adults with a higher education.

So what explains the Israeli paradox? Do Israelis only become stupid when thinking about their own happiness?

So he evidently agrees with the premise that happiness is a function of (a) security and (b) income.

There's this week's question for your table: Is he right?

Shabbat Shalom

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